Home gardening guide

Green Curved Line

Learn how to grow basil from seed, and enjoy this fresh herb all summer long! I'll show you how to care for basil from planting to harvest!

Scribbled Arrow

Basil is such a fast-growing versatile herb and keeping some fresh basil on hand can be a great idea.  Buying fresh basil can become costly and trying to keep cuttings fresh in water only lasts so long.


Sweet basil is great for cooking. Purple-leafed basil is primarily fragrant and ornamental. Small-leaf maked a perfect garnish. Scented basil makes a complimentary flavor in stir fry dishes.


Basil seeds are small, oval, and black. They are collected after the basil plant flowers, and it can be quite tricky.

Starting seeds

Basil grows quickly from seed. Start the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost of the season. Sow the seeds 1/8 inch deep in seed starting soil.

Starting seeds continued

Cover the seeds with a light covering of soil and mist with water to start germination. Cover the pots with plastic wrap to trap in the moisture. 

Thinning and transplanting

Basil seeds take about 6 to 14 days to germinate. This is done best at temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees. Once the seedlings emerge, begin separating them into different pots for optimal grow space.

Transplanting continued

Transplant the seedlings to the garden when soil temperatures hit 70 degrees. Make sure to space the plants 12 to 18 inches apart for good air circulation. Basil loves consistent moisture so drip irrigation is perfect.


You can begin harvesting basil when the plant is about 8 inches tall, and you should harvest regularly to promote new leaves. For the best flavor, harvest leaves before the basil begins to flower.

Learn more about growing basil from seeds at the link below.